Fund accounting software can tell you a lot more than what you have in the bank. It can also be used to help you discover what your members really want from professional development activities.
Have you ever heard the expression “vote with your purse?” It’s an old expression that means that you can tell what people really want by what they buy. When you review the data in your fund accounting software, you can see which programs are doing well and which ones aren’t. You can also get a glimpse into how well attended your professional development activities are and whether or not they might need and overhaul. Financial information can be used to glean many non-financial insights if you know where to look.
Fund Accounting Software: The Truth Is in the Numbers
Fund accounting software such as Abila MIP Fund Accounting or AccuFund Accounting Suite can help you track how well your organization is advancing to meets it goals. It can also help you satisfy information requirements from donors, board members, and the general public.
But it can also be used to assess professional development programs for your constituents. If you are running a significant number of programs, those programs probably form a budget line in your fund accounting program. That budget line fluctuates according to enrollment in the professional development courses. If more constituents take the courses, your organization achieves its margin goals. If enrollment falls, you’ll fall short of your goals.
If you can drill down to the course level in your reports, you’ll get even more insight into which courses attract people and which may need an overhaul. Studies show that the majority of organizations either overhaul or tweak their programs every two years. In one study, 40% of respondents claim they are making adjustments and 28%, small tweaks, and changes, while 24% are making a complete overhaul.
By using the data from your fund accounting software to prioritize professional development activities for tweaks, overhauls, or other changes, you can put your time and effort into those activities which will yield the best results. Courses with highest member demand should be prioritized first; consider retiring professional development activities that are poorly attended or unappealing to your members.
Delivering Good Professional Development – Updating Software
Your organization needs more than the right fund accounting software to deliver high-quality professional development programs. More constituents are seeking online learning to fulfill professional development requirements. Nonprofits and membership organizations would be wise to add interactive learning to their roster of courses.
Not all interactive learning is equal. Ensure that you are using state of the art platforms to deliver programs. Update and upgrade video equipment, hardware and software, and other delivery methods. Add interactivity to your training with forums, chats, and other methods to connect with members before, during, and after training.
Integration of Systems
Membership systems that integrate data from professional development enrollment into the full member database are valuable sources of information for future planning. Such systems, when they connect with fund accounting software that provides information on revenues collected, provide a wealth of data to help you plan a full, rich, and informative program of member professional development that helps your organization achieves its mission and margin.
The right fund accounting software such as Abila MIP Fund Accounting does more than helps you manage your money. Reports on activities can help you plan better programs that meet member needs. The better your meet member needs, the more your organization grows. It’s a winning combination that starts with a thoughtful look at the data from your fund accounting system – and of course, the right fund accounting software that provides the data that you need.
RBP Methods helps right-brained people navigate a left-brained world. We offer nonprofit software and consulting services. We’d love to talk to you about your online fundraising or other needs. Contact us today or call 503-648-9051.